Toronto Blue Jays Roster Moves: Jimenez, Burns Reassigned
The 2015 Toronto Blue Jays roster continues to take shape. With good news swirling around players like Aaron Sanchez, there inevitably comes news that isn’t so pleasant. Two guys have been on the receiving end of the bad news. The Blue Jays elected to re-assign C, A.J. Jimenez and RHP, Cory Burns to minor league camp on Thursday.
According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, the two players are the latest victims of big league roster shaping.
None of this comes as a surprise, really. Burns is a 27 year old who saw just 3.2 innings of action and in that brief sample size gave up a HR, 2 BB, 2 HBP and 4K for an ERA of 4.91. Burns was a waiver claim by the Blue Jays at the end of last season. He’s only amassed 27 total big league innings at the big league level (career 4.60 ERA) so it is difficult to see Burns as a big league piece…unless something has gone very wrong with the depth of the bullpen.
Toronto Blue Jays
Jimenez, on the other hand, could garner more attention this season. As Chisholm points out, he is 4th on the depth charts after Russell Martin, Dioner Navarro and Josh Thole. However, with Navarro being shopped for what seems like forever, the future of Jimenez could be very interesting. If, Navarro is traded, the only thing standing in the the way of him becoming the backup to Martin is Thole. And, Thole’s calling card carries less weight these days with the Blue Jays seemingly willing to let Martin catch the knuckleball of R.A. Dickey.
It seems like we’ve been hearing about Jimenez for a really long time. But, he’s just 24 yrs old. Since he was 18, he’s had an up and down time in the Blue Jays minor league system. In particular, the last two seasons have seen him split time back and forth between AA New Hampshire and AAA Buffalo. Perhaps his apparent slow development may be coming to a head. Jimenez is a career .277/.317/.388 hitter in the minors. The Blue Jays will almost certainly keep him in AAA and at the ready should the need arise.
That need could come in the form of a Navarro trade. Or, dare I say it, an injury. If Navarro is dealt, would the Blue Jays really be comfortable handing the back up job to Thole? Perhaps. He’s been the back up for a while now. But, one should ask “How’s that worked out?”. Of course, there is also the argument that in order to benefit Jimenez, the club should keep him catching full time in AAA. Having him ride the pine as a backup may not necessarily help him.
That seems to be the thinking right now. Send him to the minor league camp and get regular at bats and playing time. The big league roster is still taking shape. There will be plenty more of these moves to be made. As Gregor Chisholm points out, there are “47 players remaining in big league camp. There are 22 pitchers, four catchers, 13 infielders and eight outfielders. That list also includes 15 players who were non-roster invitees.”
There will be plenty more moves to come. Stay tuned.